What's your shortest lived photography-related purchase?

To continue from the title, I’m thinking of things that failed, didn’t work, or even just didn’t suit you.

The reason for this post is that I bought a rather nice little Powershot S110 - a slightly older, enthusiast-level but very small compact, for the reasonable price of $100 AUD (about $60 USD or Euro).

It wasn’t in perfect shape, but seemed sound. I only discovered the next day that the pop up flash didn’t work, but that didn’t bother me too much.

One more day and some light use later… the retracting lens barrel jammed. :expressionless:
No more camera.

I won’t try to get my money back as I’m pretty sure the previous owner (a student I think) sold it in good faith, and it’s not worth fussing about anyway.
But I’m a little disappointed all the same!

These are probably about the only more-or-less presentable pics I have from it. :slight_smile:

Shot in raw, developed in dt (which has full support for it) and stitched with ICE in the case of the first one. The lens is a bit soft at the long end, (~120mm equivalent) which was also a slight disappointment too, to be honest. Diffuse or sharpen was looking promising though.


Ouch … that’s a painful (to the pocket) 1 or 2 days of use.

I bought an action-camera that has seen use so far only on my last-but-one trip to New Zealand (Sep 2023), but hasn’t been used since. It is still alive, however. I’m thinking about using it full-time as a dash-cam in my car.

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Not really answering your question but I got an S100 a few years back for v little. Nice tiny, tiny camera. Decent zoom range, RAW and bracketing for when the dynamic range is too much for the sensor. Hope it lasts longer than yours, tho…


In terms of least used equipment, I bought a Sony X3000 action cam with opt stabilisation to document a 9-day, 1,000-mile Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride. Keep meaning to use it more but haven’t really gone on any multi day rides since despite my good intentions.

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I bought a brand new Olympus Tough TG4 and on its first trip it got splashed with water when the charging port cover was still open. Water leaked in and destroyed the boards. So this tough camera didn’t even have the water resistance of a charging port found on a mobile phone. How many mobile phones die after getting a splash of water? Not many I am sure. Bad design.

I replaced this camera with an Olympus Tough TG5. I took it diving to a depth of 11.7 meters and it flooded despite having a claimed depth of 15 meters. The camera was out of warranty but the Australian dealer replaced it free of charge. Nice one. I now have an underwater housing for my Olympus TG6 because I am too scared to get it wet.

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I just thought of another short lived camera. We were into Kart racing and I decided a Go Pro was at too much risk in motorsport so I bought a cheaper action camera. I am glad I did when I watched my son’s kart get in a crash, his camera getting thrown across the track to be runover by another kart. Camera nearly survived but the lens became dislodged from its correct focus point. The waterproof case was shattered. Such is motorsport.

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One word (well, two words): Cokin filters.

I still have them but once my backordered magnetic fillers arrive I’ll have to figure out how to rid myself of the Cokin-related stuff… if possible. Fortunately that’s only four filters (two NDs, a CPL and a soft grad) and a P-series holder plus a hood and a few adapter rings. Oh, and the black cloth light shield I made to prevent light leaks.

Actually it works, just a bit of faff involved.

Anyone interested? :slight_smile:

That’s interesting! I’d thought about one of these in the past

My phone fell out of my pocket on a quiet suburban road cycling last night but I had to get off and wave my arms at the car behind so the guy didn’t run over it. I used to not put my phone in a case because I thought why are the phone companies advertising how thin their phones are and then forcing you to add bulk. A few drops on bathroom tiles later and I got a case


I bought several packs of polaroid film. Before the postman got the packet a third of the way through the letter box, my dog grabbed it and tore it to shreds. I think that’s about as short lived as it’s possible to get.


Thanks everyone! Interesting experiences all round. :slight_smile:

Action cameras are a bit like that… specialized.

Exactly - you’ve put your finger on all the good bits. I would think think as long as you look after the moving bits there’s no reason it wouldn’t last - but I guess only Canon’s engineers would know for sure. :wink: Nice shots!

Wow. That’s a long ride… and amazing scenery!

Oh dear…
I’ve had a succession of waterproof/tough cameras in the past.
Started in around 2007 - with an Olympus mju770, then a Sony TX10 (that one was cool - very nice sliding lens cover), an newer but cheaper brightly coloured Olympus (forgotten model), a Pentax WG-2, and finally a Ricoh/Pentax WG-5.
A friend has an Oly TG-6 which I’ve used occasionally.

I’ve never destroyed one through water ingress but the deepest I’ve ever had them is 1-2 meters. I still have most of them too! The Sony is the only one that really doesn’t work - I suspect too many hard knocks. (It turns on but the image stabilizer goes haywire and is a very effective image de-stabilizer!)

The Pentax has a badly scratched lens, the rest are just kind of obsolete. :neutral_face:

Ooo, gee! That’s definitely motorsport… :sweat_smile:

Me too. :slight_smile:

Now that takes the cake for short lived indeed! Ow…


Hmmm. It’s apparently fixeable/replaceable. But the only replacement parts cost more than the camera did!

I tried so many things. Small camera like the RX100, G7X, LX10, LX100, TZ100, FZ330, and only then realized I didn’t like them. Lenses like the Fuji 16-55, 23, 15-45, 16-50, 18-55, 18-135, which generally lasted slightly longer before I realized they were not for me. Fancy cameras like the RX1 or X100T which even lasted a few months, and I may still regret selling sometimes.

But perhaps the most memorable one was the Fuji X-E1 I bought as a sidekick to my D7000. That was a very short-lived experience in the sense that I immediately saw the light, sold all the Nikon gear, and in very short order got an X-E3 instead (by way of the X-E2).


I bought a camera that didn’t suit my computer rather than me.

It was a Sigma DP2 Merrill which outputted huge raw files and I had to download the latest Sigma raw converter …

… and therein lay the problem … on my single-core HP running Windows XP, a single slider adjust could take up to a minute to show in the Review window.

Sold the camera about two weeks later :disappointed_relieved:


That is life, kind of story:

My late father had multiple terminal illnesses for two decades before he passed away. He was a strong person and therefore made the most of his remain time, which turned out to be that long.

But with it came medication and treatment that affected his health and judgement. Unfortunately, many people preyed on his good will and nature. He ended up purchasing camera equipment beyond our means, spiralling us into debt. One particular super expensive lens did not even enter through our front door. Mom smashed it on the concrete. About $4000 down the drain just for that one, which may not be much for some of you, but was a lot for us. Every one of us were unemployed at the time and scraping by.


Gosh, that’s tough. :anguished: Hard times indeed.

That’s a lot to lose for most of us I reckon. Certainly for me. and even if I had the sort of funds to not miss it, I’d still consider it a substantial loss. But when unemployed and near broke that would be shattering. (sorry pun not intended!)

Oh! I feel your pain.

I was wondering if anyone would mention that kind of shortlived. :wink:

To riff of @123sg’s I feel your pain, I still use a superbly underpowered laptop @xpatUSA, though it can run a very lite version of Windows 7 or 10.

@bastibe There is light at the end of the tunnel.



My really old computers have been given a new lease of life by changing them to Linux Mint. They work much faster and cleaner than under windows. But yes my current laptop is windows 11. I presume in future years it will become a linux machine as well when microsoft stops supporting the hardware or OS.


That’s hard. Conmen circle around my father-in-law like moths to a flame. Luckily their various scams are small money wasters. He got a new tv subscription service for a while because of advice from “a charming young lady”, giant eyeroll.


My newest computer is a twelve-year-old iMac, and my newest camera is a ten-year-old Fuji. I won’t tell you how old my newest pair of socks are. :wink: